Luke Graham: Ameen has girls going in the right direction | SteamboatToday.com

Luke Graham: Ameen has girls going in the right direction

Luke Graham

Rome wasn’t built in a day.

In the same sense, successful high school programs aren’t built in a day or a week or even a season.

That’s why I’ve been impressed by the job that Steamboat Springs girls basketball coach John Ameen has done early in the season.

Although the record may not indicate it, Ameen has the program going in the right direction.

Before the season, Ameen said the girls would improve each and every game.

With the exception of Saturday’s blowout loss to Falcon, the Sailors have improved each and every single game.

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A witness to this was Roaring Fork girls coach Kirk Cheney. A week after downing the Sailors by 30, Cheney came away from Friday night’s contest against Steamboat impressed.

“That was a Steamboat team that has really improved over a week,” Cheney said after Friday’s game. “They’re very much improved. They took care of the ball well, shot much better and were like a completely different team.”

That’s one thing to like in itself, but Ameen is helping the Sailors much more than that.

After each game Ameen meets with every girl individually. He talks with them about what went right, what went wrong and what can be done better.

Ameen is a tactician of the game. He’s been a graduate assistant for a college team and helped coach a year under Kelly Meek – maybe the best high school basketball tactician in the state.

With that said, Ameen realizes that in some situations the fundamentals of the game have to be taught. You can’t build a house without a foundation, and you can’t have a winning team without fundamentals. Instead of bombarding the girls with offensive and defensive sets, Ameen spent the first weeks of practice teaching the fundamentals.

Did it put them behind many teams in the state?

Sure.

Did it help with a team that features three freshmen on the varsity and five more in the program?

Absolutely.

So in three months when we look back at the season the growth of the program shouldn’t be determined solely on wins and losses.

But cut this article out, keep it safe and check back in a couple of years.

By then, Ameen and the Sailors should have the framing of a successful program.

– To reach Luke Graham call 871-4229

or e-mail lgraham@steamboatpilot.com